Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ursel Schlicht, Steve Swell and Sound Quest, 2001

I first came across pianist, improv-composer Ursel Schlicht in a concert posted on the web. I think it was WKCR's old site. It was Ms. Schlicht and windologist-flautist Robert Dick in duo. I liked what I heard. One thing led to another and I hold in my hand the jewel case for Ursel Schlicht/Sound Quest's 2001 CD Implicate Order (Cadence Jazz 1140). This consists of a live appearance of the group in Kassel, Germany.

It's a good lineup: Schlicht of course on piano, the master Steve Swell on the trombone, Ken Filiano, bass, and Lou Grassi, drums. They are joined by Martin Speicher on alto for one number.

This is the sort of improv collective that can do the rolling thunder or quiet down for a new music sort of give and take. Ursel's piano has a nicely burnished tang to it. She plays interesting lines that stretch the harmonic-tonal base when there is one, and otherwise puts together thoughtful, well-considered phrases. The pieces are all band collective improvisations with the exception of one Schlicht composition, which is quite interesting.

Steve Swell sounds great throughout. Ken Filiano and Lou Grassi give you a free rhythm section that listens and strikes out on its own as well.

Highly recommended. Go to and click on the CJR link to get more details on this recording. They also have one on CIMP, which I most definitely will want to be hearing. Stay tuned.

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